They say one's home is one's castle. Unfortunately, if you are a homeowner reading this, your castle probably doesn't have a moat.
Fortunately, there are several much easier ways you can prevent intruders. Some are pretty tried and true, and you may be doing them already, such as having a security system or getting a dog. But, there are some effective lesser-known steps that are easy to implement. This list of tips can help you roll out the "unwelcome mat" to would-be thieves.
Most thieves tend to head right to the master bedroom when they are looking for valuables. Hiding such items in a different room — someplace unexpected like a bathroom or a kitchen — reduces the chances of being found. Also, consider leaving decoys, like a mostly empty purse, in a conspicuous area.
Keeping large or dense shrubbery away from your home gives thieves fewer places to hide. Conversely, thorny bushes, like roses, can also help deter break-ins when planted near windows.
Lights – inside or out
Motion detection lights (for exteriors) and lights on timers (inside your home) will give burglars less cover, and more reason to question whether or not your home is occupied.
A car in the driveway
Surprisingly, two-thirds of burglaries occur during the hours of 6 a.m and 6 p.m., while you are probably at work. However, most thieves are deterred if it looks like someone is home. One really simple way to do this is to make sure a car is parked in your driveway, and that it is kept clean and moved often.
When correctly cut and measured, they are an inexpensive and unobtrusive solution for securing sliding doors and windows.
Potential burglars (o r their accomplices) sometimes visit your home under the guise of providing service or repair work. Each time service people enter your home —for instance, to go to the bathroom — make sure after they've left that they haven't taken the liberty of unlocking any doors or windows while inside. Doing so could help thwart a later attempt at intrusion.
This tip is especially important, with an estimated 30 percent of burglars gaining entry through an unlocked door or window.
If you have your home address saved on your phone's mapping app, change it to a different address nearby. You'll still be able to time your trips and navigate home, but thieves won't know where you live if your phone gets stolen.
Call for backup
Talk to your independent insurance agent about coverage options geared towards theft, such as personal property replacement cost protection for damaged, destroyed, or stolen property. For homeowners with exceptionally valuable items in their home, a scheduled item endorsement can offer maximum coverage against not just theft, but breakage and disappearance as well.
To help you keep your "castle" safe from intruders, The Hanover partners with Scout to provide home insurance customers with an elevated level of home security solutions. Learn more about Scout, and all of our affiliated service providers at our Partners in Protection page.